Check Valve vs Ball Valve: What are The Differences | Dombor

Home Check Valve vs Ball Valve: What are The Differences | Dombor

In a hydraulic or air system, valves are mechanical appliances that regulate the flow and pressure of a liquid. They are crucial parts of the pipe networks that shift fluids, gases, vapors, sludge, and so on. The industrial valves manufacturer produces a wide variety of valves, each with unique features, capacities, and applications. There are various ways to operate these valves, including manual, electric, pneumatic, etc. 

In order to satisfy the needs of varied applications in numerous fields, there are different types of valves, including ball valves, gate valves, globe valves, hydraulic check valves, plug valves, needle valves, butterfly valves, pressure relief valves, and so on. This check valve vs ball valve comparison guide will help one know more about these two types of valves. 

What Is Ball Valve 

Floating Ball Valve1 1
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Ball valves are straight-through, 90-degree turn valves with rounded seats that provide for consistent sealing stress and a round closure aspect. The ball revolves to open and shut down the valve. When a tight shut-off is needed, ball valves are utilized. These heavy-duty valves can transport gases, fluids, and fluids with suspended solids. 

Ball valves are dependable, operating well even after numerous cycles and lengthy periods of inactivity. They are frequently preferred to gates and globe valves for shutdown and control applications because of these characteristics. However, they do not have control of those options for throttling applications. 

What Is Check Valve 

Tight Sealing Lift Check Valve
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The self-activating safety check valves only allow one direction of flow for gases and fluids. A check valve’s primary function is to stop the system’s procedure flow from overturning, which could harm equipment or disrupt the procedure. One-way directional valve is another name for the industrial check valve.

Check valves are frequently used to safeguard compressors in gas systems or pumps in fluid applications where backflow can result in the pump or compressor to close. Additionally, they are used in procedure systems with various pressures that need to be kept apart. Since they utilize the pressure drop produced by the media flow, they do not require an external power source to function.

Check Valve Vs Ball Valve 

Here are the primary differences that one needs to be aware of ball valves and check valves. 


One major difference between the ball valve and check valve is that they serve different applications. 

  • Check Valve Applications 

Check valves are utilized to maintain pressure and stop backflow. They are frequently employed as a backup in case a pump fails or when the system pressure surpasses the capacity of the central equipment. Oilfield production, chemical, petrochemical, water, steam, refining of petroleum, and other sectors need check valves. Check valves are frequently used in manufacturing and waste-water treatment systems as well. 

  • Ball Valve Applications 

In circulating systems on ships, fire safe conservation services, and chlorine producers, ball valves are frequently used. As a result of their difficulty in cleaning, they are not advised for use in applications involving pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and bioprocessing (with chemical or non-sterile applications as exceptions). 


The ball valves and check valves are accessible in different types, which are listed here. 

  • Check Valve

The check valve types include swing check valves, lift check valves, ball check valves, duckbill check valves, double-disc or wafer check valves, umbrella check valves, butterfly check valves, cartridge/manifold valves, foot valves, poppet check valves, and tilting disk check valves. 

  • Ball Valve

The ball valve types include floating ball valves, trunnion valves, reduced port valves, full port valves, v-notch control valves, single body valves, three-piece body valves, split body valves, top entry valves, welded valves, and so on. 

Method of Control 

  • Check Valve 

The valve is opened by fluid flow in the desired direction, while backflow shuts down the valve. The check mechanism’s weight, back pressure, a spring, or a mixture of these methods all work to deter backflow. The name “disc” is frequently used to describe the mechanism, while other terms include “ball” and “poppet.” The check valve should offer no barrier to forwarding flow and complete resistance to backward flow.

  • Ball Valve 

A disc in the shape of a ball makes up the ball valve’s closure component. A quarter turn of the actuator unlocks the valve. In order for the media to travel through the valve, the turn aligns the ball’s hole so that it is parallel to the flow. The ball swivels so the hole is vertical to the flow when the valve is shut down, obstructing the media. Segmented characterizable balls only employ a portion of the sphere to block the port rather than the complete sphere.


  • Check Valve

There are both metallic and nonmetallic substances that can be used to make check valves. The outer shells are often built using metal or plastic. Corrosion-resistant stainless steel is the mostly used material for check valves, while other substances include carbon steel and forged carbon steel.  

  • Ball Valve 

Any of these materials, including brass, titanium, bronze, stainless steel, chrome, PVC, CPVC, and PFA-lined, can be used as body components. Additionally, a wide variety of seats and seals are employed in ball valves. The chemical compatibility, temperatures, and pressures of each substance determine the particular uses for which they are suitable. Some of the substances utilized are Viton, TMF, Polychlorotrifluoroethene, Nylon, Delrin, Virgin PTFE, Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene, Reinforced PTFE, Graphoil, Metal, and PEEK. 


  • Check Valve

When deciding on the kind and speed of the actuator, as well as the substance for the valve body and disc, the media is crucial. The valve system could have a huge range of materials.

  • Ball Valve 

With both gas and liquid media, ball valves perform incredibly well. For difficult substances like hydrofluoric acid, dry chlorine, hydrochloric acid, and oxygen, this style of valve can be utilized. Slurry solidifies in the cavities around the ball and seats, so the slurry transfer is not strongly advised. The operating torque goes up, and the valve can get damaged. The majority of valve manufacturers advise including no more than 3% trace solids.

Swing Check Valve Vs Ball Check Valve 

Here is a brief comparison between the ball check valve vs swing check valve. 

  • Swing check valves 

Swing check valves allow full, unobstructed flow, and automatically close as pressure decreases. Full closure occurs when the flow reaches zero. Swing check valves are recommended for use in systems that utilize gate valves because of the low-pressure drop across the valve. 

The hinge and disc that make up the valve are rescinded from the body using a hinge pin. This valve has a metal-to-metal or metal seat to composition disc seating. For applications where there may be media particles, where sound is an issue, or when a positive cutoff is necessary, a composition disc is advised.

A Y-pattern or straight body structure is offered for the swing check valve’s body. The disc is hinged at the exterior of the straight body design so that it can seal against the body’s integral seat. The closure aspect of a single-disc swing check valve is built to be fastened to the top of the cap.

The advantages include: an angled seating surface makes it easier to open at low pressures, provides more positive sealing, and reduces shock when shutting down at high pressures. Turbulence and pressure drop are also relatively less and feature seat rings that can be replaced. The drawback is that it cannot be employed in pulsing flow systems, and the constant flapping would damage the seating components. 

  • Ball check valve 

In the swing check valve vs ball check valve comparison, the ball check valves use a spring-loaded or free-floating ball resting in a seat ring as the closing element. Its design is comparable to that of a ball valve. The mechanics of how a check valve works are rather straightforward. The seat of several check valves retains a single through-hole, and a ball typically rests above it.

The diameter of the ball is marginally bigger than that of the through-hole. The liquid is permitted to pass through the valve when the pressure above the ball surpasses the pressure below the seat. However, the ball returns to rest in the seat whenever the pressure above the ball outperforms the pressure below the seat, creating a seal that deters backflow. 

The ball stays clean with the steady operation, making them ideal for services involving viscous fluids or when there is residue in the system. The benefits comprise: can be established in lines with the vertical flow and is ready with renewable seat rings. It can be utilized with water, air, steam, gas, and vapor lines that have high flow rates. 

Are Ball Valves Better Than Check Valves 

ball Valve 2
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Ball valves are employed to halt the circulation of fluid. The ball valve is often shaped like a sphere with an opening that is the exact diameter of the pipe. The benefit of this quarter-turn valve is that it does not restrict liquid flow while it is open.

It is referred to as a “full flow” valve when the hole in the ball is the exact diameter of the pipe. This sort of valve offers a good sealing system when it is closed, and both gases and fluids can be passed through this valve. Conical plugs are another feature that some ball valves have. Additionally, 3-way and 4-way ball valves are available and are also referred to as sector valves.

Ball check valves are frequently tiny, straightforward, and affordable. They are frequently utilized in refillable dispensing syringes, spray equipment, rubber bulbs for pumping air, gel minipump dispenser taps, and manual air pumps.

Even though the balls are frequently composed of metal, they can also be constructed of other substances, including sapphire. Small input and outlet ball check valves with ruby balls and sapphire seats are also used in high-pressure HPLC pumps and related applications due to their hardness and chemical-resistant feature. 

The check valves may eventually require replacement if the seat develops a tear or scrapes out over time. As a result, these valves are designed to be interchangeable and occasionally housed in a tiny plastic body that is crammed inside a metal fitting that can bear high pressure and is fastened into the pump head.

How To ChooseCheck Valve or Ball Valve

swing check Valve
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One must decide what the valve will be used for before choosing it. Determine if it will be utilized to regulate a fluid’s flow or stop it. The sort of media that will circulate in the system must then be confirmed (gas or a liquid). Check if the medium requires particular hygienic conditions because it is corrosive, chemically neutral, a food product, or a medical fluid. 

It is crucial to understand if the valve is powered manually or automatically regarding the operating system. In one situation, a person needs to be present to regulate the valve, whereas in the other cases, the valve can be managed remotely (for instance, from a control station). 

The type of assembly or installation that will be employed, particularly if the valve requires to be fastened, bolted through flanges, or tightened in, is also vital to consider. Once these various components have been established, one can concentrate on the technical features of the installation, mainly the flow and pressure that will enable one to establish the valve’s size. 


When selecting check valves, factors including fluid compatibility, headloss, flow aspects, non-slam features, and total price may need to be taken into account. It is crucial to select the valve while considering the specifics of every installation to ensure that it works at its best.

When choosing ball valves, it is vital to consider factors such as operation type, housing material, circuit function, seal, connection type and size, pressure, flow coefficient, temperature, and standards. Contact a reliable valve supplier to acquire various types of valves for your business necessities.

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